Do you suffer from Glossophobia? (Fear Of Public Speaking)
Earlier on in my broadcasting career I was asked to speak at the famous Edinburgh TV festival in Scotland about youth television! At the time, I was head of programmes for a ‘Yoof’ TV Channel called Rapture TV. We used to go live in Ibiza and show hours of snowboarding – all very cool. But the one thing that wasn’t cool at the time was my speech at the conference!
Arrhh, I am embarrassed to say, I sucked!
It didn’t realise it at the time, but I suffered from Glossophobia! The fear of public speaking.
Apparently 75% of us suffer from this type of anxiety – which has devastating side effects;
Do these symptoms sound familiar?;
- increased heart rate
- increased blood pressure
- increased perspiration
- increased oxygen intake
- stiffening of neck/upper back muscles
- dry mouth
- a hamster wheel of negative thoughts running obsessively in your head
Oh yes, I also recall having an out of body experience as I judged myself from above! It was a bit of a horror show.
Have you ever felt like that? Many of my clients in business have described similar side effects as well as shaking, coming out in a rash and total brain freeze!
There’s good news!
Since then I have not only helped thousands of speakers, BBC presenters, politicians and business leaders from global organisations (banks, law firms and Deloitte) nail their speeches despite their fear of public speaking, I have also mastered the art of speaking to a large audience myself!
Can you believe standing on a stage in front of 100s of people has become my comfort zone? It could be yours!
It’s literally a game changer for you and your business if you can learn to speak in front of a large audience.
“Esther has been a game changer for me personally and for my status in the market, which will lead to more business for the bank. Esther is brilliant and fun to work with. I would not hesitate in recommending her to anyone”
Senior leader, Barclays Bank
Now it’s your turn to combat the fear!
Here are 3 of my top tips to help your glossophobia...(And I have so many more!)
Tip 1 – Breathe
“Anxiety is the same physiological reaction as excitement, but without breathing” – Janan Kubba, Psychotherapist and coach.
Breathe out for 8 beats very slowly “blow out the candle” – then breathe in for 5 beats and “smell the roses”. Repeat 3x and you’ll find your heart rate slows down. This will stop the blind panic.
Tip 2 – Rehearse
“You reduce nerves by 73% if you practice” – Graham Davies – Author of The Presentation Coach.
Yes, it's obvious you need to practice, but how many times have you actually forced yourself to do a proper dress rehearsal before a public speaking engagement?
Just make sure you have given yourself enough time to prepare and run through the full presentation/speech at least twice out loud with the clothes you’re going to wear. I always go one step further and I film myself with my little camera and watch it back, yuk!
Yes, it's excruciating but I learn from my mistakes and pick out the weak points. I do praise myself on the good bits but it’s hard. It does reduce your nerves, believe me, it does. You’ll feel a lot more confident about your material too.
Tip 3 - Laugh
A low laugh from deep down in your stomach will help, just before you perform. Yes, you may feel a bit funny but go to the loo if you need privacy. Just 1 minute of this fun warm-up exercise will seriously help you to;
- smile just before you go on
- relax all your vocal apparatus (that has tensed up)
- look relaxed, warm and ‘effortlessly’ confident
Eyes and teeth!
You can do it– and if you need help contact us Claire@estherstanhope.com